Oldest working U.S. nurse turns 90 with hospital surprise party

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital nurse Florence "SeeSee" Rigney, 90, said she retired at the age of 67 -- but it only lasted about five months.

Ben Hooper

TACOMA, Wash., May 12 (UPI) -- The oldest working nurse in the United States celebrated her 90th birthday with a surprise party during her shift at a Washington state hospital.

Florence "SeeSee" Rigney, who started her career as a registered nurse 69 years ago, was treated to a surprise party Thursday, the day before her 90th birthday, by coworkers at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.


The surprise, which was captured on video and posted to YouTube, featured Rigney being serenaded with a birthday song and presented with gifts including flowers, a tiara and a letter of congratulations from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who recognized her as the oldest working nurse in the country.

"You are all wonderful," Rigney said through tears of joy. "I know I'm a pain in the you-know-what!"

Rigney temporarily left the profession at the age of 67, but her retirement was short-lived.

"I stayed retired for about five months, then I came back, and here I am," she told KING-TV in a 2014 interview.

Sheri Morris, assistant nurse manager, said Rigney is a valuable asset to the hospital.

"She runs circles around all of us," Morris told "She's a wealth of wisdom and knowledge, and we absolutely love her."

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